PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. —
The Department of Defense has three primary focus areas in the support to Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico: deployment of logistical support forces, commodity distribution and increasing the medical capabilities on the island.
Last night, the hospital ship USNS Comfort received five critical patients from Ryder Memorial Hospital in Humacao, Puerto Rico after its generator failed. The possibility of hospitals failing due to running on emergency generators for extended lengths of time had been planned for by Comfort, FEMA, and other Federal and local agencies. Comfort is currently underway and additional mission assignments are expected to be scheduled based on assessments by DoD, FEMA and Puerto Rico’s Office of Emergency Management and will deploy appropriately on a route to help those needing medical services.
Route clearance operations continue focusing on gaining access into isolated mountain areas to expand logistics flow to 13 priority municipalities that were identified by local leaders. We continue to team with FEMA and Health & Human Services implementing the overarching medical support plan. To the end, an Area Support Medical Company is scheduled to arrive in Puerto Rico in the coming days.
Today, we continue to execute the distribution concept in concert with FEMA. We are pushing supplies, via ground and air, as additional distribution centers are established in more municipalities.
Currently we have approximately 6,000 active duty service members located in the Puerto Rico area of operations. Yesterday we delivered 191,000 gallons of fuel, 572,000 meals, 1,600,000 bottles of water, and cleared 65 miles of roads. USS Wasp arrived and began flight operations that included supporting the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ efforts to repair the Guajataca Dam.
To date over 7,345,000 meals, 5,769,000 liters of water, and 273 generators have been delivered to Puerto Rico in support of FEMA and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.
USNORTHCOM’s mission is to assist lead federal relief agencies in helping those affected by natural disasters to minimize suffering while continuing its mission of defending the Homeland.